After earthquakes, there are many aftershocks...
I'm standing in the supermarket holding a tin of something in my hand, tears running down my face. I don't know how I got there, or what I'm doing there. People are giving me very odd looks.
I'm driving down the road and I don't remember where I'm going, I don't even remember part of the journey travelled.
I'm lying in bed at night listening to every sound, too scared to get up to investigate, too tired to care and unable to sleep for fear.
The sound of smoke detectors leaves me running like a headless chook in totally blind panic, not knowing what to do or where to go or how to deal with it. I spend hours and hours shaking.
The sound of the fire siren reduces me to a blithering idiot. I have flashbacks so vivid, so real, I find myself on the verge of screaming. Sometimes, I do.
I can't leave the house for very long, if at all. I sometimes spend 2 hours procrastinating because the act of walking out the door means I have to trust the house won't burn down again.
I can't leave anything electric plugged in. I can't leave laptops sitting on tables - they freak me out, knowing they have lithium battery packs in them. I have to triple check that everything is turned off. I can't handle lighting the gas stove to cook, despite it being an electrical explosion that caused the fire.
I wake up in the middle of the night screaming. That's if I sleep in the first place.
My stress levels are so high, I am suffering from malnutrition - I can't absorb anything from food because it either passes virtually straight through or I throw up.
I worry incessantly about leaving Tigger at home with the doors and windows shut and yet I can't leave them open because someone might get into the house and burn it down. They can't burgle me - I have nothing.
I see things in shops and I start crying - remembering what I've lost. Not a day goes by where I am not wracked with grief.
I'm so scared that at times I want to die.
I'm seeing a psych to walk me through this part of the journey - I can't do this alone, I don't have the ability to handle everything that is being thrown at me AND deal with the stress of the past three months. I find amazing support all around me - from strangers, from friends, from family - and yet, I still have to walk alone. There are times when I look down the mouth of a long dark tunnel and see no light and yet I know that I have many people holding me in love and compassion. What would I do without you all? Thank you. I love you.